on al jazeera america this is al jazeera. ♪ hello welcome to the al jazeera news hour. i'm david foster. coming up in the next 60 minutes, syria says it will be going to planned talks in geneva but repeats its calls for foreign states to stop funding the rebels. three people killed by a car bomb as the trial begins over in the murder of the country's prime minister.
such crimes can never be crustfied. >> the vatican says there can be no excuse for child abuse, bbut disappointed victims. and another anti-government protest law. we begin with this. al jazeera has obtained a leaks document in which the syrian government details its reservations about un-backed talks in geneva. but it has confirmed in the note to the un chief that it will be there for the talks. let's go to kristin live now from un headquarters in new york. the reservations are there on paper now. what are the implications?
>> well, david, this could be very significant. we did expect that the syrian government would be taking part in these talks, but for the first time, we're getting an official document laying out their position, and they do seem to be laying out their reserve accusations. they are expecting the talks to proceed from a previous agreement reached in 2012 by members of the security council and the international community, which stipulated this the aim of the talk would be to establish an interim government with full powers. and it seem the syrian government is expressing that it is not on bard for that as even a starting point for negotiations, and at this stage we know the opposition has been divided. we don't even know if they are going to take part in these
talks and one of any issues has been that the assad government isn't serious about moving forward, and this could fuel those elements of the application who don't want to take part. of course the west and members of the united nations are expecting them to do so, and we expect a decision on that matter possibly on friday when they meet. >> yes, stay there for just a second, because we'll hear from a representative of the snc. >> they need to make it very clear to the rest of the world where they stand. we need to start from the same points, and that's the reason that iran was not invited. now we ask the assad regime to say we accept this and that, and
then we can look at the allies and say, okay, but the assad is rejecting those principles before geneva. we need them to force them to accept all of the elements or it will be a waste of time. >> that is the coalitions response. what has been the thoughts where you are at the united nations, which of course is trying to put all of this together? >> well, al jazeera has heard from diplomats off of the record that they will concerned about the tenor of this record. on the record the french ambassador was just speaking and asked about this, and he reiterated the point that the permanent five members have been in agreement that geneva 1 would
be the basis for geneva 2. in other words the point of a transitional government is certainly a starting point that all of the security council countries are coming to these talks with. the united nations also is expressing that view. the secretary general spokesperson wouldn't comment on the specifics of its correspondence with syria. >> kristin, thank you very much indeed for giving the position from the united nations on events inside syria. italy has named the port that it has volunteered as the site for the transfer of syria's chemical weapons. the first ship will be taken to the area. let's go to rome now. the people who live in that town and around it, they don't seem
very happy about this idea. >> yes, david they are not just particularly happy about the award. they said it was imposed on them. they said they just chose the port without really asking them at all, and they said that was very undemocratic, and puts them in a very difficult position. there were two mayors surrounding the port, and one said they are killing me, he says because if something happens then the population will come after me with pitch forks, and the other one has threatened to shut down the port, because despite reassurances that this will be a safe operation. we still don't want to have a stockpile of chemical weapons in our backyard. >> any idea where the dane initial vessel which has come
from syria en route to italy, where it is, and when it might will get? >> that's a bit of a mystery, because we -- the tracking system on the ship carrying the stockpile has been deactivated because of security concerns. now we are told that the ship was just off the coast of malta about a day and a half ago. one of the local mayors told us that he believes that the ship may get to the port as early as tomorrow night. but the government is keeping this a secret, because obviously there are great security concerns. still it will have to stay there until it is joined by the american cargo ship that is supposed to take onboard these stockpile of chemical weapons so it can go and destroy it in the middle of the mediterranean.
so a bit of a mystery there. >> thank you very much indeed. and the certain is the longer it sits there the more potential there is for danger. the trial of four hezbollah suspects accused of killing the former prime minister are being tried in the hague. almost nine years after the killing. james bayes reports from the hague. >> all rise. >> reporter: almost nine years after the crime took place, the trial is finally underway, a special court in the netherlands hearing details of a bombing over 3,000 kilometers away in beirut. >> please be seated. >> reporter: the court is packed with lawyers, but the four defendants all known to be members of hezbollah are not here.
they have not even been questioned. still at large they are being tried in absentia. >> the people of lebanon have the right to have this trial and to seek the truth. to seek the truth, and reveal the identity of operatives who attempted to hide their identities. >> reporter: the hearing is taking place in a courthouse of the suburb of the dutch capitol of hague. on the floor of the trial room, a scale model of the sea front in beirut where the bombing was carried out. it was clearly a carefully planned assassination, but the bomb was so large that members of his entourage, his security detail, and passers by were killed. a total of 22 lives were taken. in court to watch the start of
proceedings, his son, himself also a prime minister of lebanon. >> unfortunately, the names of those who perpetrated these crimes are lebanese. they follow a certain political party. they are innocent until proven guilty. this is what you want. justice not vengeance. we never seek vengeance, and hopefully by the end of this trial, we will find out the truth and we will get the justice that we called for. thank you. >> reporter: the netherlands have seen many international trials in the past. some have taken years. no one knows how long this case will last. the special tribunal only has mandate until 2015. already the bill for this tribunal has reached
$325 million. this court case will be both controversial and costly. james bayes, al jazeera, the hague. those proceedings began against a backdrop of violence once again in lebanon. an attack killed at least three people. the syrian rebel group says it is responsible. >> reporter: yet another explosion in a country plagued by violence, and yet again, a hezbollah strong hold was targeted, this time in eastern lebanon, close to the border with syria. the target was clear, shiite civilians. >> translator: this is not the first time they target us, and it's not the first time we made sacrifices. this has been happening since
the war with israel in 2006, and now the ongoing war in syria. these terrorists have no religion. this was their latest gift to us. >> reporter: a suicide bomber is believed to have been responsible for this. the bomb went off at a busy time. this is the commercial hub and main square. this is the first time this area was targeted by a bombing. over recent monthses this area has been repeatedly targeted by rocket attacks coming from the hezbollah side. they have vowed to attack hezbollah until it stops backing the syrian regime militarily. hezbollah dismisses such threats and says the bombings are linked to what it calls international terrorism. >> i think this is something that is not related to syria. what is happening in egypt, in russia, yemen, syria, and iraq,
is it related to our presence in syria? i think this is nonsense. terrorism is killing innocent people. >> reporter: lebanon has been entangled in a conflict that has spread across the region. officials are calling for national unity to save the country. but the fractions are too far apart for that. through lebanon's history security has only come about when there is political consensus. you are watching the al jazeera news hour. coming up on the program, just says after the nigerian government signed the law criminalizing same-sex relationships, arrests spread across the country. the australian open continued on wednesday, in extreme heat.
at least seven people have been killed in an explosion inside a mosque in pakistan. hundreds of people were there, and more than 40 have been taken to hospital. police in china have detained the leading scholar from the muslim minority group. he is accused of breaking the law. but no further details were given. the academic who is an economist campaigns for the rights of minorities and spoken out publicly against chinese government policies. this is beijing if you can see it. once again blanketed by thick smog. the highest record level since last january. anything above 300 micro grams considered hazardous. hundreds of millions of people
in china are using trains, plains, and automobiles to get home before the holiday. craig gleason is there. >> reporter: imagine your worst travel experience, an overcrowded airport, long train pughs, arguments over seat allocation. that scenario is a picnic compared to this. today in china it's the start of spring transport. that means hundreds of millions of chinese migrant workers, school children and families begin their annual migration to their villages for chinese new year, and that places enormous stress on the transportation system here. 280 million people by train, 43 million by boat, 35 million by air, and 3.2 billion trips will
be made by road. so how does china's rail system cope? well the simple answer is it doesn't. despite billions being spent in the past few years, it simply isn't enough. so what is the experience of this like for chinese? >> translator: if i bought a train ticket now, the ticket would be sold out, so i have to buy it more than ten days earlier. >> translator: we got up very early to come here from the construction site. 3:00 in the morning. we are very lucky, we got the tickets just two left. >> translator: i don't know how to use internet. i'm just a migrant worker. young people know how to buy the train tickets online. >> reporter: making this year's travel even more difficult is the rising cost of train tickets. the new high-speed train can
cost 125 usd. that's half the monthly wage of a migrant worker, so for 25 usd you can get a trip on a local train, but that can take you 48 hours to reach your destination, and that's standing room only toe to toe with hundreds of other chinese as you make your way back across country. it's a gruelling journey, but one many chinese are willing to make. craig gleason, al jazeera, at the beijing train station. the vatican is acknowledging there can be, quote, no excuse for child abuse. we'll get more on that now as we join julia. >> david, thank you. the roman catholic church came
in for blistering criticism of a un committee that was quizzing the representatives for the first time. critics say that the church protected priests they knew abused children. hi, there sigh. -- simon. do you think the vatican has made any real progress? >> i'm not sure that they have. the original submission earlier in the day was very much similar in tone and content or lack of content to earlier things we have hear from the vatican. there was a great deal of optimism mainly because of pope francis and the good mood music he has been setting in the
opening months. but i think the majority of people both in the un committee that were listening to the vatican, and the interested parties, the victims and survivors themselves, it was a disappointing day. for many this was a chance for the vatican to display a new attitude. the session opened with a statement from the vatican delegation. >> the results of the combined action taken by local churches and by the holy seat presents a framework that when properly applied will help eliminate the occurrence ofchild sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel. >> reporter: an attempt to reassure but it didn't convince many. >> translator: what is the holy seat doing with regard to article 39 of our convention which refers to repairations
financial and psychological to victims? despite the extensive protests, what steps have been taken with regard to sanctions and punishments for clerics who have engaged in inappropriate conduct. >> reporter: most wanted to know more about what was being done by the church. are priests being reported to think police, what was being done to give children more of a voice. >> i'm also here to say that the holisy gets it. >> reporter: it was at least an admission they got it wrong in the past, but many didn't like the tone nor the attempt of humor. >> it is absolutely on offensive when they are sitting in a room of people who have been through hell and back, and they sit
there being evasive and colluding with each other and actually joking at one point. >> they were asked for more disclosure and to finally start taking greater responsible for the crimes. but they didn't really deliver either, and for many people that will be a huge disappointment. and julie now i'm joined by one of those people who made a long journey here to see whether the vatican turned a new page. he is from snap which stands for the survivor's network for those who surprised abuse by priest. there was some optimism today, miguel that the vatican would take a new approach, set a new tone. did they do that? >> i think from the survivor's
point of view, they were very hopeful, but not expecting anything from the vatican. but for the first time ever, the united nations was asking questions. basically what they asked is that we had faith on them. they didn't provide any proof that things have changed from the ground. the committee specifically asked about a specific case, how they have handled them, and they refused to give any details. >> so, again, this question of a lack of disclosure and detail, and willingness to share the data that many people assume they have collected. what do you and other survivors want from the vatican? >> i think what we want is what we have wanted for the last decade, that basically on the one hand transparency, they have to be open about it. one of the members said the
vatican was a big black box. and i think it's the end of impunity, child sex abuse, child rape is a crime, and it has to be dealt by authorities. the vatican representative recognized that only in 2011 it was official policy to report child rape to the authorities. and another thing is accountability, bishops who cover up for child rapists have to be [ inaudible ]. and today pope benedict had a meeting with the former bishop of los angeles who has been proved that he protected pedophiles and obstructed justice, and there is a paper trail of that. >> francis, i think you meant. >> yes. >> pope francis has received so much good press in his
commitment to produce a more humble papacy, and i think many people here feel it won't necessarily reach down into this particularly murky and damaging part of the vatican's recent history, and that is a great disappointment. >> simon, thank you. child abuse investigators in the uk, us, and australia have dismantled ring. they streamed poor children around the world. the investigation was sparked by a routine visit to a sex offender. >> reporter: this is timothy ford a registered sex offender in britain. in a routine visit to his home, police discovered video showing child abuse recorded from live
webcams in the philippines. that lead to operation endeavor. the act may have happened in the philippines but they were watched in 13 countries, including the united states, canada, eight countries in western europe, hong kong and australia. 29 people have been arrested, where 15 children ages between 5 and 16 have been recued. in an online chat two men outlined how the web streaming worked. >> i get some shows over the net. >> live shows? >> yes. >> that sounds great. how much do you send them each month? >> $200. >> our government is determined to stop human trafficking in all of its forms and manifestations
through concerted action by all concerned government agencies in cooperation with other countries. >> reporter: but campaign groups say this type of abuse could happen anywhere, all that is needed is demand from wealthy countries and the presence of vulnerable children. >> that includes separation from family, or losing parents, parents who have migrated or parents who just aren't around, living with other relatives or being on their own, and children who have been abused before are very vulnerable to -- to this type of abuse, and just the situation in the community where you have high unemployment, high levels of poverty. >> reporter: three other global investigations are still going on, suggesting what has emerged could be a small part of a huge problem. >> more news from europe a little later this hour. including [ inaudible ] an incurable form of blindness.
>> also coming up on the news hour, accusations of extra judicial killings in rebel-held areas of syria. we'll be talking to the united nations human rights office. and we will be visiting the tiny town in colorado u.s. that produced more [ inaudible ] than any other town in the country. robin has that and the rest of the sport in about 20 minutes time. >> journalist glenn greenwald joins "the stream" >> the us government uses terrorism as it's excuse to do almost everything... they're collecting emails and telephone calls every single day >> glenn greenwald on "the stream" on al jazeera america
our team of scientests stumped... join our journey to peru... then, it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, >> that's good.... >> but it's not... the foamy inovation that's making hardcore meat eaters happy. >> techknow on al jazeera america good to have you with us for the news hour. these are our top stories. al jazeera has obtained a leaks document in which the syrian government details its reservations about talks in geneva on january 22nd, in particular the foreign funding of opposition fighters. but has confirmed it will be there for the talks. the opposition syrian national coalition says the letter undermines those talks. in the next couple of minutes, we are expecting the u.s.
secretary of state john kerry to give a statement. the trial of four hezbollah suspects accused of killing the former lebanese prime minister are being tried in the hague in their absence. the syrian rebel group says it was behind a car bombing in northern lebanon that left three people dead. the attack was in the town that is a hezbollah strong hold. the word from the united nations human rights office is the number of extra judicial killings by groups in rebel-eld areas is soaring. rupert you are in geneva. apologies if we have to
interrupt this to take john kerry. i hope you will have the patience to stay with us, and perhaps comment on what he has to say. but for those who don't understand the legal terminology here, because we are talking about something that is a juicishal phrase, what is an extra judicial killing? >> it's a killing that takes place in a [ inaudible ] the united nations is not in favor of the death penalty, period, but it is necessary in certain situations, but only as the result of a proper legal procedure, and obviously that's not happening at all in syria, least of all with extremist armed opposition groups. >> so you are simply talking about people who are taken away and shot or hanged or whatever? >> that's correct. people who basically are summ y
summary -- executed. >> so why has there been such an increase in this part of syria? >> it seems to be linked to fighting between opposition groups and especially in the islamic state of iraq in syria, and it has a different name according to others, and the most extreme group. they seem to be fairly systematically executing people when they are having to withdraw from somewhere where they are holding prisoners. they have captured soldiers. >> you gave specific examples, one of which was a number of bodies found in a school. give us your thoughts on what happened there. >> well, this is the children's hospital in aleppo.
this was around the 8th of january, and there seemed to have been numerous people executed there, mostly handcuffed and blindfolded. people who were clearly powerless. and we understand at least four local media activists were among those. and those were very clearly civilians. but under international law captured fighters can no longer be considered to be taken part in hostilities. so they should be treated humanely. >> you have expressed your disgust against it, and that is quite understandable, but there's nothing you can do about it, is there? >> no, there isn't in a way, but on the other hand i think it's important to keep pointing it
out, and make it clear to all groups fighting in syria and anywhere else for that matter that there are rules of law, international human rights law as well, and they are banned by it. there are no statutes of limitations, and hopefully these people doing these crimes will appear in court somewhere. >> i was reading an article today about the first world war, and there was a phrase quoted in which somebody talked about the rules of war being akined of somebody monitoring the temperature of someone being boiled in oil. it is a gray line, isn't it? >> no, there was an international consensus that war needed to be regulated. but since then, of course, there have been huge developments. and some wars are carried out more carefully than others, but i think it's important that
people understand that they may think at the time that they are immune and can do whatever they like, but the international system is geared to capturing them one day, and we are seeing them in quite a few countries, especially in latin america. people who committed crimes 20, 30 years ago and are now being convicted and sent to jail. >> this has been happening in an increasing number of cases. is it only those people who are fighting in those circumstances, or is it on all sides and amongst all groups. >> absolutely. initially it was much more on the side of the government, and government-affiliated militia, but it is quite striking how it
has appeared to dramatically increased between opposition groups as they started to fight each other, and especially these very, very extreme groups who are trying to impose their own vision of society on -- on everyone else. >> rupert we thank you very much indeed. talk about extra judicial killings in syria. we're still waiting for a statement from the u.s. secretary of state john kerry on events in syria, or quite possibly events leading up to the planned talks in geneva scheduled for next week. we'll come back to that as soon as mr. kerry arrives. meanwhile, egypt's stated media says more than 90% of voters have approved a new
constitution. the government says about 55% of the voting population showed up to cast ballot. the opposition says the figure is inflated. and the students being killed at cairo university in giza during fighting on campus. fighting broke out between students who are for and against the muslim brotherhood. al jazeera continues to call for the immediate release of five of itself journalists who are still being detained in egypt, mohamed fahmy, baher mohamed, and correspondent peter greste have been held without charge for 19 days now, accused of spreading lies harmful to state security and of joining a terrorist group, allegations which al jazeera says are fabricated. another two journalists from
our sister channels, a reporter, and a cameraman, they have been detained for five months. the president of nigeria has replaced the entire military leadership of his country. he has now chosen an officer from the northeast of the country has his top commander, on the same day a close ally of his resigned. the shuffle comes amidst violence in particular blamed on the group al-sharon. and a volcano is continuing to kick out ash and destroying crops and livelihoods. people living around the mountain have been forced to take refuge.
the volcano has become active in the last four months after being dormant for four centuries. there is been an tack on protesters once again. judy has more. thank you. the protesting a whole lot riskier in this the ukraine. earlier the president's supporters rammed through a new law enforcing heavy fines for anyone who joins a protest. the 2014 budget was always pushed through sparking fights. the approved finance were welcomed by thousands outside of parliament. but anti-government protesters are still out in independence square and the opposition wants them to stay there.
>> translator: they completely use up power. the dictate forship completely took over, now it's the street that has to speak. >> translator: we're appealing to the international community. the regime have completely destroyed the legislative power. >> jennifer glasse is live in kiev for us. hi there, jennifer. how significant are these measures that parliament has pushed through? there is real concern isn't there? >> that's right. there is, julie. there is very much concern, because along with the budget the parliament pushed through a number of measures that really limit people's able city to gather peacefully. if you go to a demonstration and are wearing a helmet, uniform, or carrying a torch, you can get
ten days in prison. non-governmental organizations who take any foreign donations now have to register as foreign agents and pay taxes on the money they take. any tents sound systems or stages set up without a police permit could lead to up to 15 days in this jail. these are not law yet, they have to be signed by the president, but certainly they lay the ground work for the opposition of protesters, and limit the ability of opposition protesters to make their choices heard, and i think the concern is it will have a chilling effect. the idea is to create uncertainty whether any of these laws will be enforced. >> what will happen next for the protesters? will they try to maintain a presence in the square? or will it be too risky?
the >> they have been there for eight weeks, and they are calling for people to come out on sunday for a large protest. they say they are going to stay there until their demands were met. there was a rumor going around that police were going to clear independence square of protesters. it caused such concern here that the interior ministry issued a statement saying the police would not come into the square, and would not use violence. it has been largely peaceful until last week when a demonstration outside of a courthouse saw one of the opposition members being very badly beaten up by police, and he ended up in this the hospital. they have been protesting in bitter-cold temperatures for eight weeks now, and they say they are going to continue until their demands are met. >> jennifer thank you. a politician has been dead
in kosovo. he ran for mayor of the ethnically divided town last year. the vote was annulled and do to be reheld next month. politicians in the spanish region of [ inaudible ] have kicked off a someone of fervor. they asked madrid for a referendum for independence from spain. belgi belgium's dutch speakers are also asking for greater autonomy. now a major break through here in the uk, scientists have
managed to cure people previously inflicted with blindness. emma hayward reports. >> reporter: many of us take our aye sight for granted, but if you live with this disease, your vision is restricted, and this disease can eventually lead to blindness. toby first experienced problems with his sight when he was a boy. >> mobility becomes increasingly difficult, because the peripheral vision shrinks and shrinks and shrinks, and i'm only left with the core vision which enables me to lead. his vision in the eye which was operated on has improved. it's linked to a mutation in a gene, and causes the retina to degenerate. in this study, scientists
injected the retina with a modified virus which was made safe. it delivers a correct version of the gene which halts the progression. six months after the treatment the patient's vision in dim light improved. >> with gene therapy, i agree what we're doing is genetically modifying people, but we're genetically modifying them in a positive way, because we're putting back the gene they are missing, we are simply correcting an underlying gene defect. >> reporter: the sample study was small, but it has help participants think more positively about the future. >> this trial has given me and
people like me real intangible hope that the -- as i call it the awful inevitability of the creep of blindness that is now not going to happen. >> reporter: scientists say this will offer new hope, and may eventually help in this the treatment of other eye conditions. formula 1 boss is to go on trial for bribery in germany in late april. the 83-year-old will step down as director, but keep running the motor racing basis while on trial. he faces charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust over payment to a german bank seven years ago. >> reporter: the german prosecutors thinks that bernie has paid $44 million to a german bankers, a risk assessment officer at the bank which owned
47% of formula 1 racing. and then the company would allow him to stay on as the boss of formula 1. he is now doing an eight-year jail sentence for tax evasion and accepting the bride. ecklestone says the payment was a kind of blackmail payment. so when the case opens in late april, it couldment come down to one man's version of events against anothers. the actress suspected to having an affair against the french president has filed a lawsuit against the goes ssip magazine. she is seeking $74,000 in damages and other fees. if she wins, they will have to
publish the verdict on the front page. the magazine has promised for pictures in its edition on friday. and the protester has dumped several tons of manure in front of parliament. the man started to off load his cargo but was quickly arrested. certainly knows how to make a statement. that's all the news from london. back to david in doha. julia, thank you very much. you are watching the al jazeera news hour. we're heading off to washington in just a minute for john kerry, but we're also reporting on the australian open. the first big-name casualty. robin will be here with the details of that and the rest of sport.
here is the sport with robin. >> thank you so much. the temperatures are forecast to top 40 degrees celsius for a fourth consecutive day at the australian open. play was extended on thursday as the extreme heat continues. andrew thomas reports. >> reporter: from three hours of play with temperatures in excess of 41 degrees, came the announcement many felt was long overdue. play suspended. the extreme heat policy meant play was stopped on outer courts, and paused while the
roof was closed on other courts. spectator numbers were already well down on previous years. many who did come on thursday left early. >> you are leaving. how was it? >> damn hot. it is damn hot today. i don't know how hot it is, 40 something. >> reporter: the decision to suspend play was because crucial thresholds had been reached. it isn't just sample matter of looking at a thermometer -- we are leaving andrew thomas and going to john kerry the secretary of state making a statement on syria. >> i will have an availability tomorrow in the morning when we have our friend from mexico
here, and i will take a couple of extra questions for not being able answer some here now. i know many of you have been asking about some of the recent revisionism as to why the international community will be gathering next week. so let me make it clear here today. from the very moment that we announced the goal of holding a geneva conference on syria, we all agreed that the purpose was specifically and solely to implement the 2012 geneva 1 communique. that purpose, that soul purpose could not have been more clear at the time this was announced, and it could not be more clear today. it has been reiterated in international statement after international statement that the parties have signed up to, and venue after venue in resolution after resolution, including most
recently in paris, last weekend, when both the london 11 and the russian federation reaffirmed their commitment to that objective, the implementation of geneva 1. so for anyone seeking to rewrite this history, or to muddy the waters, let me state one more time what geneva 2 is about. it is about establishing a process essential to the formation of a transition governmenting body with full executive powers established by mutual consent. that process is the only way to bring about an end to the civil war that has triggered one of the planet's most severe humanitarian disasters, and which has created the seeding grounds for extremism. the syrian people need to be
able to determine the future of their country. their voice must be heard. and any names put forward for leadership of syria's transition must, according to the terms of geneva 1 and every one of the reiterations of that being the heart and soul of geneva 2, those names must be agreed to by both the opposition and the regime. that is the very definition of mutual consent. this means that any figure that is deemed unacceptable by either side, whether president assad or a member of the opposition, cannot be a part of the future. the united nations, the united states, russia, and all of the countries know what this conference is about. that was the basis of the un
invitation sent to each country a restatement of the purpose of geneva 1 and both sides and the parties can come only with the acceptance of the goals of the conference. and we too are deeply concerned about the rise of extremism. the world needs no reminder that syria has become the magnet for jihadists and terrorists. so it defies logic to imagine that those whose brutality created this magnet, how they could ever lead syria away from extremism and to a better future is beyond any kind of logic or common sense. so on the eve of the general assembly meeting tomorrow to decide whether to president in geneva in the peace conference,
the united states for these reasons urges a positive vote. we do so knowing that the geneva peace conference is not the end, but rather the beginning, the launch of a process, the process that is the best opportunity to achieve the goals of the syrian people and the revolution and the political solution to this terrible conflict that has taken many, many, many lives. we will continue to push for humanitarian assistance in the meantime. i talked to the russian foreign minister in an effort to push still harder to access to some areas where the regime played games with convoys taking them around the route instead of directly on the route that the
opposition had agreed to. we will also continue to fight for ceasefires and continue to fight -- now obviously none of this will be easy, ending a war, and stopping a slaughter never is easy. we believe, though, this is the only road that can lead to the place where the civilized world has joined together in an effort to lead the parties to a better outcome and -- and to the syrian people, let me reiterate, the united states and the international community will continue to provide help and support as we did yesterday in kuwait where we pledged $380 million of additional assistance to try to relieve the pain and suffering of the
refugees. we will continue to stand with the people of syria. all of the people, in an effort to provide them with the dignity in the new syria which they are fighting for. thank you. and as i said i'll be happy to answer questions tomorrow. thanks. [ inaudible ] >> you have been listening to the u.s. secretary of state john kerry who has been talking about the lead-up to the events in the peace process towards some kind of resolution for syria. he made it clear that -- that the next stage is essential to forming a transitional government and a full executive powers for that particular government by mutual consent, so strong words from the secretary of state there, who was also urging the opposition who are in
discussions about whether or not to attend what is known as the geneva 2 talks to at teb, and describing this process as the only road to a better outcome in syria. let's bring in pattive culhane. pattive some strong words there, particularly to those who were trying to muddy the waters. what is he trying to say? >> we all thought he was going to come out and talk about syria accepting the invitation. and at first it seemed like he was trying to send a message to his russian counterparts and the iranians, but i think what we got is with the critical vote he was trying to send a message to them, and clarify the u.s. position and by doing so, trying to say it is also the position of the rest of the world. in